I know this has gotten into kind of a “foodie vs. non-foodie” discussion, but I do see some merit in my companions’ complaints about the food scene in Toronto. To be honest, I have faired much better in other large cosmopolitan cities (NYC, London, HK, Vancouver, Paris, Barcelona, and Boston all come to mind) when it comes to ‘value’ for the money. I have no issue shelling out a significant amount of money for a solid meal, however, I find that many restaurants around Toronto find it acceptable to charge exorbitant prices for often-times sub-par foods. The problem often lays in consistency of execution, or just plain portion controls. Executive Chefs should ensure quality control in their kitchens before letting them loose on the public. In all the aforementioned cities, food portions have always been generous, and frequently match the price point. In Paris, one can eat like an absolute glutton for about $70 CDN. In Boston, I have always enjoyed a meal at Clio – adventurous ingredients that are deftly prepared to my liking. I am also quite full even though their menu often consists of exotic items such as Chilean Sea Barnacles. In Toronto, it is often shocking that one can pay more than $120 a head and feel ‘ho-hum’ about their meal. I was even down-right disappointed with my Langdon Hall experience the other month. In NYC, Perilla and Jean Georges (which is Michelin-starred) offer gigantic portions that are solidly prepared, all for about $25 a course, or less.
Do not get me wrong. There are quite a few restaurants in Toronto that I frequent as I feel they are consistent and always create a memorable meal experience (JKWB, Zen, and numerous others). So I am not lumping them all together in the least.
Does anyone else see this inconsistency when comparing Toronto to the International food scene? These are just some of my ramblings. Thought I would put in my two-cents.